Happy (Late) Anniversary to Aromatic Delights! It was my one year anniversary starting the blog in September and of course life has been a whirlwind since Callen was born and I didn’t get a chance to even think about this important accomplishment. When I started this blog I never thought that I would enjoy posting and sharing my recipes so much. I also never thought that I would hit 30,000 views this early!! Go me!

So I thought what better way than to celebrate with posting about my favorite dish! What is your favorite dish? One dish you just can’t get enough of or tired of?

This is mine, these strawberry balsamic pork chops! I love love love this dish (my moms chicken and dumplings come in first for comfort food). I made this for the first time during our first year of marriage. I was watching Rachael Ray a lot and trying out new recipes. I had received one of her cookbooks as a wedding gift. I use to be intimidated by cookbooks by celebrity chefs. Thinking they would be too many ingredients or too elaborate that we wouldn’t like anything from the book. I’m also partial to having pictures of recipes so I can see whether or not I would like it.

I found this recipe that only had 5 ingredients, and that was counting the salt and pepper. It sounded a little off the wall but it made me curious at the same time. I didn’t tell my husband about it because I knew he would just snarl his nose. When I plated his plate and sat it down in front of him he did just that, he snarled his nose and said “what is this?” I just told him to try it, and as a good husband he did. We both loved it and were licking our plates (more him than me). I’ve made this dish numerous of times and have made it for friends as well. It’s a good date night meal.

First you want to salt and pepper your pork chops. Let them set and come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. You never want to put cold meat to a hot pan. (You’ll want to go ahead and prepare your red potatoes while your meat sits. They take 20 – 30 minutes to cook.)

Next cut up your strawberries and basil.

Pour some balsamic vinegar on top and toss together.

Another TIP; buy good balsamic vinegar, that has been aged for at least 18 years. You’re going to spend some money on it ($12 – $20) but it will be well worth it! It really does make the dish and if you have bad balsamic then your dish isn’t going to be as good.

Let the strawberries sit until ready to serve.

Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. If you don’t have a ovenproof skillet you’ll just have to transfer the pork chops to another pan. Add the olive oil to the skillet, make sure its hot before adding the pork chops. You want a sizzle sound when adding the chops to the pan. Sear and caramelize the meat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 10 – 12 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat is firm but not hard. If the potatoes aren’t done, they probably won’t be, move them to the top rack and place the chops on the middle. Remove the meat from pan, cover with aluminum foil and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serve. This is a must for any meat, even steak. Always let your meat rest and let the juices settle in before cutting. If you cut the meat without resting all the juices will run out and your meat will be dry.

Mound the macerated strawberries on top of the chops and serve with potatoes. The potatoes help soak up all the balsamic goodness on your plate. Of course this was my plate, but after taking the pretty picture I pour more strawberries and more balsamic on my pork chop. It looked like my pork chop and my potatoes were swimming in balsamic vinegar! You can’t just have a little balsamic, you need enough to dip each bite into the balsamic. YUM!!

So tell me, what’s your favorite meal?

 

Strawberry Balsamic Pork Chops

Ingredients

2  1 1/2 – inch thick boneless pork chops

8 medium sized strawberries

7 large basil leaves

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (eyeball the amount)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops. Let them set and come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

In a small bowl, cut up the strawberries and add in basil. Toss with balsamic vinegar. Let the strawberries sit until ready to serve.

Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. (If you don’t have a ovenproof skillet you’ll just have to transfer the pork chops to another pan.) Add the olive oil to the skillet. Sear and caramelize the meat for 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 10 – 12 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat is firm but not hard. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before serve.

Mound the macerated strawberries on top of the chops and serve with roasted red potatoes.

TIP: buy good balsamic vinegar that has been aged for at least 18 years. You’re going to spend some money on it ($12 – $20) but it will be well worth it! It really does make the dish and if you have bad balsamic then your dish is going to be bad.

Serves 2

Recipe Adapted from Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats

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Roasted Red Potatoes

Ingredients

3 – 4 medium red potatoes

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball the amount)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/4 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash and cut up potatoes. Place in a medium bowl. Add in olive oil, mix well to coat potatoes. Add in salt, pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning tossing after each addition.

Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from over and toss potatoes. Bake for additional 10 – 15 minutes or until soft and golden brown.

Serves 2

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